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Boiko threatened the Greek farmers, wants €10 million compensation

19 January 2010 / 11:01:29  GRReporter
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PM Boiko Borisov spoke over the phone with EC President Jose Manuel Barosso and asked for €10 million compensation for the damage suffered by the Bulgarian economy from the farmer protests in Greece. "Let them block their ports and not the border with Bulgaria. Such a thing does not exist even in Somali Bay,” Borisov said. 

With unprecedented sharp tone Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov threatened Greek farmers that if they do not remove the blockade at the border point by Wednesday, he will take them to court for penalties. "Diplomacy, friendship, and good neighborliness were until today," said the Prime Minister in an interview for Bulgarian National Television. He said that together with his Romanian colleague today they will seize the European Commission for the losses both parties are suffering by the strike of the Greek farmers. "If we had done all this, today the European Commission would have been dealing with us. It is not fair for us to pay for the problems of our neighbors," concluded Borisov. 

Meanwhile, local authorities in Bansko and Sandanski are revolting against the sudden tourism drop in the region, which relies heavily on customers from Greece. Travel agents constantly cancel mass bookings for hotels in both resorts, because Greeks are not sure whether they will be able to return to their country once they leave for Bulgaria. Turnover shops and restaurants in the area has also fallen sharply.

    Legal action against the Greek farmers was filed by the Federation of heavy carriers in Greece, said its chairman Vassilis Tsimarangas. He insists that waiving the right of free movement and disrupting public transport is a crime punishable by law. With the same arguments the District Prosecutor of Thessaloniki wrote a special letter to the director of the city police and ordered authorities to form a file against protesting farmers on the road.

    Greek farmers do not seem intimidated by the legal actions against them and remain in their barricades. The border point at Promahonas remains closed. The road Thessaloniki-Kavala is closed because the villagers have parked their tractors in the Kerdilion area. The transport hub in Hrisupolis, near Kavala, also remains closed. Tractors are parked in the area Strimonikos but not still they do not interrupt traffic.

    In Thessaly farmers continue to hold closed the road junction in Nikeas. At night, the protesters left the border crossings with Macedonia (Doiran) and in Evzoni open, but still their machines remained there. In Halkidiki tractors are on the highway near Triglia but without causing problems. At night the farmers left the border checkpoint with Bulgaria Eksohi open, and also the customs in Kristalopigi. Traffic is normal in Kastoria and Grevena.

    The protesting farmers do not exclude the possibility to protest in Athens with their tractors.

Tags: Farmer protest in Greece Bulgaria Boiko Borisov Trade Blockade
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